Anarchy and the Sex Question: A Review

Anarchy and the Sex Question: Essays on Women and Emancipation, 1896-1926 (No. 5)

By Amos Lassen
October 22nd, 2016

Emma Goldman who was considered the “High Priestess of Anarchy,” saw anarchism was “a living force in the affairs of our life, constantly creating new conditions,” but “the most elemental force in human life” but she also sex as something still more basic and vital. She dealt with sex in multiple contexts, and we find her addressing it in writing on subjects as varied as women’s suffrage, “free love,” birth control, the “New Woman,” homosexuality, marriage, love, and literature. It was at once a political question, an economic question, a question of morality, and a question of social relations.

Goldman’s analysis of that most elemental force remained fragmentary, scattered across numerous published (and unpublished) works and conditioned by numerous contexts. This book draws them all together, in an attempt to recreate the great work on sex that Emma Goldman might have given us. In the process, we see Goldman’s place in the history of feminism.

Shawn Wilbur has assembled and introduces Goldman’s writings on women, feminism, and sexuality. Goldman’s essays continue to provoke and inspire. This collection is documentation of the evolution of Goldman’s views on freedom, sex, and human liberation. Wilbur has carefully selected her best writings on sex and in doing so, he gives us important information for anarchist, feminist, and queer communities around the world. We can now study and learn from Goldman who was one of the key figures of anarchism.

Back to Emma Goldman’s Author Page